The CEO of a Texas-based group of hospice and home health entities was sentenced to 15 years in prison for falsely telling thousands of patients with long-term incurable diseases that they had less than 6 months to live in order to enroll them in hospice programs. The patients were otherwise unqualified for the programs, thereby increasing revenue to the company. The scheme included the submission of over $150 million in fraudulent bills, the falsification of patients’ medical records, and the payment of unlawful kickbacks. To read the full press release, click here.
The Middle District of Tennessee announced that James Anderson, M.D. has agreed to pay the United States and Tennessee a total of $1.72 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations for improperly billing for electro-acupuncture using a peri-auricular stimulation device known as “P-Stim” that does not qualify for reimbursement under Medicare or TennCare. P-Stim is an electro-acupuncture device that is affixed behind a patient’s ear. Once activated, the device then provides intermittent stimulation by electrical pulses. From May 2016 to November 2018, Dr. Anderson billed for and was reimbursed by the United States for acupuncture using the P-Stim devices. To read the full press release, click here.
Americans are blowing the whistle on their employees like never before. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received 6,900 tips alleging white-collar malfeasance in the fiscal year that ended on September 30th. This is a 31% jump from the previous 12-month record. According to whistleblower lawyers and academics, people are more emboldened to come forward when they don’t have managers and co-workers peering over their shoulders. According to Adam Waytz, a psychologist at Northwestern University who has studied the motivations of whistleblowers, “When you feel disconnected from work, you feel more comfortable speaking up.” Also, the increase in awards to whistleblowers might be a factor in encouraging whistleblowers to come forward. To read the full article from Bloomberg Law, click here.
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